The NIU College of Law welcomed The Honorable William J. Haddad (Ret.) as he presented its 27th Annual Francis X. Riley Lecture on Professionalism on Thursday, April 8 from 6-7 p.m. The lecture was followed by the virtual PILS Auction, which ran until 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 10.
View the recording of Judge Haddad’s presentation, “The Legal Profession’s Ideals of Public Service: A Study of the Emergence and Impact of a Minority Bar Association upon American Society.”
The Preamble of the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct discusses an attorney’s duty to advance the profession’s ideals of public service. Judge Haddad will present a study of the formation and impact of the Arab-American Bar Association of Illinois. The Arab-American Bar Association (“AABAR”) was formed in 1990 by a dedicated group of Arab-American Attorneys who had been appointed by the Mayor of Chicago to serve on his Arab-American Advisory Council. Over the ensuing years, AABAR has addressed many racial and social justice issues of public concern ranging from police protection of minority owned businesses ravaged by the insurrection of 1992, to the backlash of hate crimes and discrimination against Arab-Americans and Muslims after 9/11; all the while defending and promoting the Rule of Law and opposing hate speech and hate crimes.
The Honorable William J. Haddad retired from the bench in 2013 where he served as a judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County for over a decade. He received his B.A at Marquette University and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. He began his legal career as an assistant state’s attorney of Cook County and later was a founding partner in the law firm of Haddad, Schlack & Associates. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Haddad had been a trial lawyer with more than 30 years of litigation experience. In 1990, he was the founder and first president of the Arab American Bar Association of Illinois.
Later, in 1998, he became the founder and first president of the Suburban Bar Coalition of Cook County. In 1999, Judge Haddad chaired the Illinois Law Consortium for Palestinian Legal Education. He served on two gubernatorial transition teams 2002 and 2019 dealing with hate crime prevention and legislation. In 2014 Judge Haddad founded the American Middle East Voters Alliance, the first Arab-American political action committee in Illinois.
Judge Haddad is a past chair of the Board of Visitors at Northern Illinois University College of Law. He is also an adjunct professor in trial advocacy and mediation at The John Marshall School of Law. Judge Haddad has lectured and published articles on trial practice for the Illinois State Bar Journal, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association and numerous other organizations. He has organized CLEs at area law schools and law firms, including seminars on hate speech and the rule of law. Judge Haddad has been recognized for his achievements with awards from the Illinois State Bar Association, Crime Stoppers of Illinois, Suburban Bar Coalition of Cook County, West Suburban Bar Association, University of Wisconsin Law School, Northern Illinois University College of Law, Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Arab-American Bar Association, Muslim Bar Association, Aqsa School and St. Ignatius High School.
This lecture series was established in 1994 to honor the late Professor Emeritus Riley, who devoted his life to the law and legal education. It brings distinguished speakers to the NIU College of Law to discuss current issues relating to the legal profession.